Published at 17:18 on Sunday 17th June 2018
Tags: WCRC, Windermere, Northern Rail

Class 37/5 No. 37669 waits to depart from Windermere, with one of the test workings to Oxenholme on 17th June. Scheduled Northern services are currently suspended on the branch because of the ongoing timetabling and crewing issues. Cameron Walker

After a significant amount of negative publicity over the total suspension of Northern-operated passenger services on the Windermere branch, it appears that a temporary solution has been found ahead of Northern services recommencing from 2nd July.

On 17th June, West Coast Railway Company operated three return ECS trips as a trail over the branch, using Class 37/5 No. 37669 and Class 57/3 No. 57316, in 'top and tail' formation around a three-coach rake. The move was a preamble to a daily service operating while trains are suspended by the franchise TOC.

The run is reported to have been successful with much interest being generated locally and from enthusiasts, and Railway Herald understands that a public service, comprising of six round trips between Oxenholme and Windermere, between 09:30 and 19:00, is to commence from Monday 18th June.

Departures from Oxenholme are at 09:25, 10:40, 12:40, 14:40, 16:35 and 17:50, returning from Windermere at 10:00, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:10 and 18:30, the stock operating ECS from and to Carnforth every morning/evening. The service is currently expected to operate with a 'top and tail' loco-hauled formation until Saturday 30th June. Northern has confirmed that it will reintroduce its own shuttle service between 06:30 and 20:00 from 2nd July, with road replacement coaches to cover crew breaks.

The service is being operated by WCR following an approach by the Department of Transport, but it is also not known how ticketing will work and confirmation is currently awaited. The advertised rail replacement bus service is expected to continue to operate alongside the rail service.

Updated: 18th June 2018 at 16:48

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